One year ago, when travel took a turn for the worse, Finca Victoria, an 11-room hotel in Vieques off the coast of Puerto Rico, turned inward to help guests heal. Now, the owner has transformed the hotel into an Ayurvedic retreat.
Sylvia De Marco, celebrated Puerto Rican designer, hotelier, and owner of Finca Victoria, has long had a passion for Ayurvedic medicine, having studied in India and Sri Lanka and integrating its principles into the wellness offerings when the property opened in late 2019. At the onset of the pandemic, she began to see a demand from guests wanting to explore a deeper commitment to these practices, extending their stays to address health concerns and taking time to detox and restore their bodies, minds, and spirits in a more meaningful way. Some stayed for months on end. “This is when I knew I was onto something,” says De Marco. “Nobody wanted to leave, so I took my practice and expanded what I know.”
Finca Victoria is now an Ayurvedic retreat that offers personalized consultations and education; individual treatments; Panchakarma Detox and Weight Loss programs; an Ayurvedic kitchen using produce from the hotel’s edible garden; Casa Botanica, the Ayurvedic herbal pharmacy; Ayurvedic cooking classes; daily herbology classes and workshop; and a staff that has undergone certified Ayurvedic training.
De Marco’s mission is to demystify and simplify the 5,000-year-old practice so guests can apply these principles at home and carry it over into their daily lives.
Finca Victoria’s Ayurvedic treatments are available as an add-on to a stay or part of a more extensive package. Treatments take place in the Casa Botanica Ayurvedic Wellness Center comprised of two treatment beds and a balcony with an antique bathtub for therapeutic herbal soaks.
Casa Botánica, the herbal apothecary, carries natural beauty and healing products, herbal medicines, oils, teas, and more. Some products are made in the on-property Ayurvedic kitchen, infusing local organic plants and herbs, using recipes passed down from Puerto Rican ancestors and Ayurvedic knowledge rooted in ancient formulas.
The Ayurvedic Kitchen is helmed by chef Jordan Dossantos, who uses locally sourced, plant-based ingredients from the property’s own organic gardens to create savory and healthy vegan dishes under the Ayurveda structure. Menus remain true to the hotel’s Puerto Rican roots, highlighting authentic flavors of the destination
Ayurvedic packages, including the Panchakarma Detox and Weight Loss programs of varying lengths, offer a comprehensive personalized journey as an add-on to existing bookings. The Panchakarma program (minimum five-day package recommended) will help release stored toxins, restore digestive energies, boost metabolism, and awaken the body’s capacity for healing, renewal, and self-regulation.
All packages include the following:
- A private consultation with a certified Ayurvedic practitioner including physical examination, Dosha test, and recommendations
- Personalized medicinal and herbal rituals to address an array of conditions including customized elixirs for morning and night
- Daily yoga including pranayama, asana sequence, and sound healing meditation
- Herbal medicines throughout the day tailored to individual needs
- Three Ayurvedic meals daily
- Daily treatments recommended based on guests’ specific needs
- An Ayurvedic manual, personal schedule, and journal containing literature recommendations, links to online wellness resources, yoga classes, Ayurvedic products, and post Panchakarma recommendations and guidelines.
Guests can choose from the three-day Ayurvedic package that starts at $775 or 5-, 7-, 10-, 14-, and 21-day packages. The Panchakarma Detox or Weight Loss Package is also available for $200 a day, including all the above. Prices do not include accommodations.